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Go home Springboks: the 1971 South African rugby tour of Australia

ABC Radio: Hindsight --In 1971 the South African Springboks rugby team toured Australia amid controversy and chaos. Anti-apartheid demonstrators attempted to disrupt the games because the team had been selected on racial grounds. Protesters clashed violently with police and Premier Joh Bjelke Petersen declared a state of emergency in Queensland, where police charged at and beat up demonstrators. They also had creative forms of protest; like having Aboriginal people wear the 'sacred' Springboks jersey, and getting a mixed race couple (Zimbabwean and white Australian) to stay in the same hotel as the Springboks to draw attention to the fact that their marriage would be illegal in South Africa. The Aboriginal protesters also raised the nation's awareness of racism in Australia. The event ushered in a more militant form of protest in Australia and it kicked off our sports boycott with South Africa -- the Springboks did not return for 22 years.

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